STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF AGE CHANGES ON LIP PRINT PATTERN AND ITS RELIABILITY IN SEX DETERMINATION.
Cheiloscopy, a forensic investigation technique, deals with the study of elevations and depressions which form a characteristic pattern on the external surface of the lips. The objective of the study was to determine the most common lip patterns in North Indian population, to evaluate whether sex determination is possible on the basis of lip prints and to ascertain if there is any co-relation between advancing age and its effect on lip pattern. A total of 600 subjects, 289 males and 311 females were selected and divided into three age groups (group 1: 1-20 years, group 2: 21-40 years, group 3: 40 years and above). Statistical analysis (applying Chi square test) showed very highly significant difference for different lip patterns (p < 0.0001) in males and females in group 2 and no significant difference in group 1 and group 3. The most predominant pattern in the entire study population was Type I (32.33%). Age changes like immaturity of lips in younger age and diminished anatomic details and tonicity in older age can have a considerable effect on the lip pattern, thereby making the correct identification of sex in these age groups debatable.